As per the new guidelines issued by WorkSafe Victoria, employers and self-employed persons no longer need to notify WorkSafe in case a worker with COVID-19 attends their workplace before testing positive for the virus.
The Occupational Health and Safety Revocation Regulations 2022 for COVID-19 Incident Notification has revoked regulations that require WorkSafe to be notified if an employee, a contractor or a contractor’s employee receives a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and attended the workplace within the infectious period. The changes are effective from 14 January, 2022.
But, all confirmed COVID-19 diagnosed individuals attending the workplace before 14 January 2022 still needs to be reported to WorkSafe. In 2020, the regulations requiring notifications were commenced and then renewed in July last year.
Since the impact of COVID-19 and its management criteria has changed significantly over the past two years of its outbreak, the notification requirements are no longer considered necessary by the WorkSafe to measure the health and safety risk of COVID-19 in workplaces located in Victoria.
Despite all these guidelines, the duty of every responsible Victorian employer remains the same, i.e. to take reasonable steps to protect its workers or employees from COVID-19 and the risk to both their physical and mental health, thereby ensuring complete safety of the workspace, including the immediate in-patient care required after contraction of the virus.
Also, a notice must be given to the department with immediate effect when five employees are tested positive for coronavirus at the workplace they have attended for past seven days.
WorkSafe is free to take any action against the workplaces that do not comply with the obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
For further assistance or more information, get in touch with the WorkSafe Advisory.